I was always a happy child and teenager. I was an only child who had gotten everything I wanted and was protected from the dangers the world that surrounds each and every one of us. I had no worries of bills, where my meals were coming from, and I had a roof over my head. The clothes I wore to school were nice and although I wasn’t dressed to the nines, I was very presentable. As the years went by, I graduated elementary, middle, and high school with high grades and was accepted into the college of my choice.
Flash forward towards the end of 2007, I was about to turn twenty when my family received some bad news: my father, who had an operation to clear the diverticulitis of the bladder, had small, malignant tumors in his bladder. The doctors assured us that with aggressive treatment he would overcome the disease. For months he fought the disease bravely with my mother by his side, enduring countless sessions of not only chemotherapy but radiation as well. He also endured an operation to insert a pacemaker in order to get his heart, who was struggling due to the treatments, to function properly. Sadly, my father lost his battle in June 22, 2008. He was just about a week and a half away from turning 69.
How I found out I had Depression
The funny thing about depression is that you never actively know you have it until you look back at the time you struggled with it. Normally with the death of a loved one, those who are left behind go through stages of grief. You could say that since my father’s diagnosis I was suffering from depression because I had a negative outlook on his recovery because every family member that I had lost in the past had died from some sort of cancer. Slowly but surely I distanced myself from my father and mother, who held a constant vigil by his side. I did not completely ignore him, but I could not spend too much time with him because I felt so sad when I was with him.
A few months after he died, I suffered a mental break down. My mother had made a comment about how I was letting my den get unorganized. I exploded into tears and yelled at her how I was sick and tired of how she treated me and that she was going to regret saying those things to me when I was gone. My mom saw the red flag and immediately came to hug me and quietly asked if I wanted to get counseling. Tired, of the sadness and the burden the last few months of my father’s illness and death had left me I quietly agreed. Soon after my mother took me to my doctor who referred me to a very good psychologist who would help me find my way again.
The treatment of my depression was two sided. On one had I was going to receive weekly counseling sessions, and the other was that I was going to be taking Zoloft that was going to be prescribed through my doctor (a psychologist cannot prescribe any medication, only a psychiatrist has the ability to do so). After six months of sessions, my schedule and job did not permit me to see my psychologist for any more appointments and therefore I had to ween myself off of my medication (which is not safe. You doctor should be the one to monitor and help you ween off the medication because of side effects that can happen). With time and other life changes, I found myself getting out of my depression. Yes I do have those moments when tears come to my eyes when I think about my father, but I also have times where I smile when he pops into my head. Depression is a serious condition that can affect the quality of life and should not be taken lightly. Anyone who suffers from the symptoms of depression should get help as soon as possible. Thanks to my mom’s intervention I can now proudly say that I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my first daughter with a smile not only on my face, but on my heart as well.